Ph. D. Program in Nutrition

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For additional information, see The Graduate School Bulletin

Doctoral Program Handout (pdf)

The Ph.D. is a research degree program designed to prepare students for teaching and research positions in the academic, government, and private sectors. The specific objectives of the program are to provide students with (1) expertise in the fundamental principles of modern nutrition science, (2) detailed conceptual and technical skills in the identified area of specialized research interest, (3) strong written and oral communication skills, and (4) the opportunity to conduct dissertation research that will contribute to the body of knowledge in nutrition. The faculty recognizes that the career goal of each student must be given maximum consideration in the design of individual programs of study. Thus, there is a limited core curriculum taken by all students prior to specialization.

Department faculty have a wide range of research interests related to nutrition and health and use of diverse methodological approaches. These interests include the metabolism, function and requirements of specific nutrients throughout the life cycle, nutrients and phytochemicals in health and disease, nutritional assessment and intervention, maternal and infant nutrition, nutrition education, nutrition and aging, nutrition and physical performance, interaction of nutrients on genes and regulation of the growth and development of bone and adipose tissue. Faculty and students conduct basic research (work with small laboratory animals and/or cultures of animal and human cells) or applied research (work with human subjects in clinical or community based studies) to achieve research objectives.

All students entering the doctoral degree program must have background-supporting courses in general and organic chemistry, general biology, biochemistry, and human physiology. At UNCG these course numbers are: CHE 103, CHE 104, CHE 110L, CHE 205, CHE 206, NTR 531, BIO 111, BIO 277. (see http://www.uncg.edu/reg/TransferCredits/CommCollege/ccindex.html)

Application Process

Applications for admission must be submitted on-line by the following dates: February 1 for assistantship consideration for fall semester admission, May 1 for fall semester admission without assistantship consideration, and October 1 for spring semester admission. The following are required for evaluation by the Graduate School: a completed on-line application form and payment of the application fee; three letters of recommendation; a letter of intent that includes research and professional goals, and indicates the applicant’s general area of research interest (indicate basic or applied research or no preference); official transcripts of all previous college course work; and the Verbal and Quantitative scores and Analytical Writing Score on the Graduate Record Examination (taken within 5 years of application). Foreign students are required to submit TOEFL scores and detailed NACES (course-by-course) evaluations of transcripts. All application materials must be sent to the Graduate School. Once complete, application materials are then forwarded to the Department of Nutrition for review. Questions regarding application status should be directed to the Graduate School.

Apply online, at the following url: https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/ApplicantConnectLogin.asp?id=uncgr-g

Financial Support

Many full-time graduate students are supported by research assistantships. The standard stipends for the 9-month academic year are approximately $16,150 for 1st year doctoral students. These assistantships require 20 hours of service per week. Also, some assistantships are available during the summer. Merit-base and minority-presence fellowships and scholarships are available during the academic year. Many out-of-state students may receive either a waiver of the out-of-state portion of the tuition, or additional support to compensate for a portion of these costs. Graduate students awarded tuition waver(s) must be enrolled for 9 credit hours or more per semester. University fees must be paid by all students each semester and are not covered by tuition waivers.

Requests for additional information about program requirements, assistantship opportunities, and faculty interest areas can be obtained by contacting 336-334-5313, visiting our website at nutrition.uncg.edu , or writing to:

Department of Nutrition
School of Health and Human Sciences
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
318 Stone Building, 319 College Ave.
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412
ntrinfo@uncg.edu

Applicants are encouraged to visit the department for a discussion of their career objectives and graduate education.

Specific Requirements for the DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY Degree

The Department of Nutrition offers a graduate program of study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree (63 hours minimum). At least 75% of all coursework, exclusive of dissertation hours, must be in 600- or 700-level courses. Students entering the Ph.D. program with a Master of Science degree may be granted a waiver for some requirements if they have successfully completed equivalent course work. This decision will be made after evaluation by the student’s major advisor and the Doctoral Advisory/Dissertation Committee.

Required Core Courses (16 hours)
NTR 609 Seminar in Nutrition (8)
NTR 625 Gene Expression and Protein Metabolism (2)
NTR 626 Energy, Carbohydrate, Lipid Metabolism (2)
NTR 627 Antioxidants and Bioactive Food Components (2)
NTR 628 Vitamins and Minerals (2)

Research Techniques (21 hours minimum)
With approval of the Advisory/Dissertation Committee, a student will select a minimum of one statistics course (3 hours, i.e. STA 661), NTR 673 (Nutrition Research Methodology – 3 hours), and two or three additional courses for developing technical competency to enhance research skills and competitiveness (8 hours minimum, i.e. BIO 594). Students will also take at least 6 hours in one or more of the following research courses:
NTR 601 Directed Study in Nutrition
NTR 623 Current Trends in Nutrition
NTR 653 Problems in Food and Nutrition
NTR 670 Research Skill Development

Electives (8 hours minimum)
With approval of the Advisory/Dissertation Committee, a student will select 6 hours from other NTR courses at the 500-700 level and an additional 2 hours minimum in NTR or a supporting program at the 500-700 level.

Comprehensive Examination
The student will consult with his/her Advisory/Dissertation Committee about the specific format of the written and oral sections of this examination.

Research and Dissertation (18 hours minimum)
NTR 790 Doctoral Research (6)
NTR 799 Dissertation Problem (12-24)

For Students Who Completed their M.S. at UNCG

Students who have completed their MS degree in the Department of Nutrition at UNCG will have already completed the majority of the Required Core Courses, Nutrition Research Methodology, and at least one statistics course. Therefore, their program of study will include primarily Research Techniques credits and Research and Dissertation credit hours. Credit received for courses taken as part of the M.S. degree cannot be counted towards the Ph.D. degree. The majority of credit hours must be at the 600-700 level. Their minimal coursework is shown below.

Required Core Courses (6 hours)
NTR 609 Seminar in Nutrition (6)

Research Techniques (14 hours minimum)
NTR 601 Directed Study in Nutrition
NTR 623 Current Trends in Nutrition
NTR 653 Problems in Food and Nutrition
NTR 670 Research Skill Development

Electives (8 hours minimum)
With the approval of the Advisory/Dissertation Committee, a student will select 6 hours from other NTR courses at the 500-700 level and an additional 2 hours minimum in NTR or a supporting program at the 500-700 level.

Research and Dissertation (18 hours minimum)
NTR 790 Doctoral Research (6)
NTR 799 Dissertation Problem (12-24)